SSHRC Spotlight: Dr. Kurt Annen
SSHRC supports postsecondary-based research, research training and knowledge mobilization in the social sciences and humanities. This SSHRC Spotlight series features U of G researchers in the College of Business and Economics who have received SSHRC funding this year.
What does your research focus on?
This funding will support my research on the democratization in developing countries and the impact of democracy on economics development.
What problem or challenge are you addressing with research?
Most of the current research focuses on the difference between non-democratic and democratic regimes. The contribution of this project is to instead focus on the differences within democracies. It is a fact that countries with free and competitive elections produce democracies in different shapes and forms. The project describes these differences and analyzes how they affect a range of economic outcome variables, such as economic growth of developing countries.
What is your research approach?
On the empirical side, we produce a data set - a first in this kind in terms of coverage of countries and years - that tracks election results of legislative and executive elections in developing countries. We track political parties, their vote and seat share, across elections. For this, we work together with the Interparliamentary Union in Geneva.
What impact do you hope this research will have?
I hope that this research yields insights into how to create strong political party systems that make democracies stronger, thereby improving the welfare of the poor directly by giving them a voice, and indirectly by increasing economic opportunities.
In a subsequent project, I look forward to investigating the role of foreign aid on democracies.